Nix, Rader

NEW ORLEANS - After a "terrible" opening week, the Ole Miss Rebels got back on track against the Tulane Green Wave in the Superdome Saturday night - for the most part. There was still a lull by both sides of the ball, but not as long or as costly as last week's. Read what the coordinators had to say about the contest inside.

The Ole Miss Rebels had another lull - this one in the third quarter - against Tulane in their 27-13 win over the Green Wave in the Superdome Saturday night, but they finished strong, especially defensively, and certainly had a better taste in their mouths than they did a week ago.

"We played a little bit better at the end," said Defensive Coordinator Tyrone Nix. "We were able to create a couple of turnovers and get some sacks, which helped.

"We didn't react as well as I would like to the adjustments Tulane made at halftime - we had a communication breakdown, but we got that taken care of in the fourth period. They adjusted and we didn't counteract the way I would have liked to, but teams are going to make plays, it's how you respond to them getting the momentum that matters. We responded a lot better tonight."

Having Kentrell Lockett back in action was huge for the Rebels, Nix said.

"Kentrell is a difference-maker. He's our leader, he's a confident player and his presence means so much to us," Nix stated.

MLB Jonathan Cornell had one of his finest days as a Rebel, registering 11 tackles and three QB sacks of the Rebs' five sacks. CB Charles Sawyer also had double digit tackles with 10.

Ole Miss defense swarms a Green Wave receiver

"Jonathan's experience showed tonight. He made things happen when the opportunity was there," Tyrone said. "That's what we expect of him all the time. He delivered tonight."

Nix was also pleased with the performance of LB/DE D.T. Shackelford.

"We are using him a lot like South Carolina used Eric Norwood last year - moving him around. We are trying to get some speed on the edge and D.T. has a knack for the pass rush. We are trying to utilize all his talents," noted Nix. "I liked what he did tonight in different roles."

There were also two true freshmen who got their first taste of action against the Wave - DE Carlos Thompson and CB Tony Grimes.

"Like I said, we are trying to get more speed out there and those two guys are fast kids," stated Tyrone.

Overall, Nix was not totally pleased with the defensive performance, but he'll take it.

"We'll take a win every week and try to get better each week. We aren't satisfied - like Coach (Houston) Nutt said, we want to correct these lulls we are having, but we can do better teaching off a win," he closed.

David Rader, the the co-offensive coordinator, saw much of the same - pretty good except for a lull.

"We were our own worst enemy during the lull. Tulane did a nice job in their alignments against us to start the second half, but we have a tendency to not click on all 11 cylinders in our offense too often," said Rader. "When we are clicking, you can see we are pretty good, but we have to get more consistent and quit making mistakes that are stopping us, like a big holding call we had tonight.

"We have not been efficient at all in the third quarter in either game and we really have to evaluate what's going on there and correct those woes in a hurry."

David said it's expected for defenses to adjust and make things tougher as the game progresses, but that's not the issue.

Jesse Grandy

"We see the adjustments and make our own adjustments, but we continue to make mistakes. That's the baffling part right now," he explained. "We are not making those kinds of mistakes in practice but it's not translating consistently to the games right now.

"We had some communication problems in terms of not carrying out our assignments and alignments to counteract their adjustments. We should be doing that better. We did not execute what we countered with effectively and we did the same last week."

The Rebels started Jeremiah Masoli at quarterback because Nathan Stanley missed two days of practice with a sore arm.

"It's tough to play in games when you don't get practice reps so Jeremiah got the start. Jeremiah made some early mistakes that didn't cost us, but when he settled in, he was pretty good," Rader assessed. "We were trying to get Nathan in the game for a series or two, but we weren't able to in the first half with the way the game was flowing, so we said at halftime, second series and you are in.

"We want him to understand we believe in him and want to keep him sharp."

RG Josh Tatum got his first extensive playing time when he was rushed into starting duty with the dismissal of Rishaw Johnson from the team for breaking team rules last Wednesday.

"Josh was doing a pretty good job until he injured his ankle. I was proud of his effort considering how little practice he got and how he was just thrown in there," Rader closed. "Someone who came up big for us was Markeith Summers. He had two huge catches on two nice long passes by Jeremiah.

"We are getting closer, but we have to eliminate mistakes, communication issues and some other things before we reach the plateau of consistency we need to be a good offense."

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